Some Thoughts On Iranian Nukesby Kevin Boyd
After reading Doug’s post on the latest poll about a possible strike on Iran, I would like to give my view on a possible strike plus my thoughts on American-Iranian relations in general.
1) Obviously Iran cannot be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon. An Iranian nuclear weapon would encourage the Arab states to develop their own bombs, disrupt the fragile military balance in the Middle East, and create a larger risk of nuclear terrorism through either giving the weapon to a terrorist organization like Hamas or Hezbollah and/or destabilization of the Iranian government.
2) Going to war with Iran is not the answer to Iran’s nuclear program. What should be tried is seven-party talks based on the Six-Party Talks that have been used with North Korea (and have been mostly successful). The United States, UK, France, Germany, Russia, the Arab League, and Iran should start having regular meetings to achieve a peaceful resolution to the Iranian nuclear situation.
3) At the end of the day, talk of an American attack on Iran is probably moot because the Israelis will probably strike if they think the Iranians are close to having the bomb. The Israeli nuclear weapons program exists for the same reason why the NATO countries maintained tactical nuclear weapons:* to make up for superior potential enemy conventional numbers. Like the Cold War where the Warsaw Pact outnumbered NATO forces conventionally, the Arab/Islamic states outnumber Israel conventionally. Justifiably, the Israelis will do whatever it takes to maintain this advantage.
4) The Iranians will be key in helping US forces withdraw from Iraq. They have a vested interest in a political solution, like all of Iraq’s neighbors, that will shore up the Iraqi central government and/or stabilize the violence enough so American forces can exit more rapidly. This is an opportunity to engage the Iranians on this issue and possibly open the door to eventual normalization of relations.
5) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is nothing more than a puppet of the Iranian Ayatollahs and should be seen and treated as such.
*The NATO/Warsaw Pact analogy is not the best, but I only brought it up to illustrate how nuclear deterrence can be used to offset conventional numerical inferiority.